Location: Pikangikum First Nation, Northern Ontario
Term: Two Years
Departure: Training July 2019, Permanent Placement August 26, 2019
Since August 2019, Marsha has been working as a teacher in a remote, fly-in Ojibway community known as Pikangikum First Nation. Located about 500 km Northwest of Thunder Bay in Ontario, this community is landlocked until the winter ice roads make it accessible during the winter months.
In 2020, Marsha became the Learning Resource Coordinator at Eenchokay Birchstick School. She has the opportunity to oversee and train over 60 staff, the majority who are local, to care for the community’s most vulnerable special needs students.
Marsha also works closely with the over 260 staff members at the school (the largest employer in the community), connecting students and employees to mental health supports, providing education, food, care, and helping to facilitate access to outside agencies. Marsha’s role also connects her to many families supporting children, some with very high needs, to assist them with facilitating care.
Pikangikum is home to almost 4,000 local Anishinaabe people, 75% of whom are under the age of 25. Crowded housing, poor infrastructure (including lack of running water and poor access to health care and affordable food) make this community particularly vulnerable to illness and mental health issues.
Marsha’s primary purpose in Pikangikum is to encourage the local Christians and to support the work that God is already doing here. She desires to see men and women raised up in the fullness of who they are designed to be in Christ and see healing, deliverance, and salvation come in its fullness to this community.